Since I am a philosophical objectivist-conservative, many liberals would accuse me of being a cold, heartless and ignorant rube. I assure you, dear readers, I am posessed of both savvy and sympathy for the downtrodden. A perfect example of where my sympathies lie is the "Blue Dog" coalition of Democrats that was coordinated by Rahm Emanuel.
Fear not. I haven't gone soft on you yet. I could no more bring myself to vote for a pro-abortion party now than I could thirteen years ago when I turned eighteen. I am simply of the belief that, politically speaking, the Democratic Party and the Blue Dogs in particular, are in a rather unenviable position.
How many moderates, or so-called "conservative Democrats" do you find vamping for the cameras in national press conferences? Not many. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid have plumb leadership positions in their respective chambers, and Bawney...ahem...Barney Frank, a man perhaps more responsible for the banking collapse than any other individual, also has a plumb appointment on the House Banking Committee. The list of radical partisan hacks goes on and on -- while most of the freshman Blue Dogs are completely without clout. Sorry Blue Dogs; you've been had. You were used and abused. True moderates, let alone conservatives, will never have real clout in the modern Democratic Party.
I really don't think that the Democratic leadership cares at all about moderating themselves. That's simply my opinion. What I know is that elected officials of both parties depend heavily on their respective national party committees, various PACs, and the support of congressional campaign committees, all led by senior party aparatchiks that do have major clout. This is where the dilemma enters the picutre.
The American people have watched porkulus, the auto bailouts, and cash-for-clunkers skate through congress relatively easily. We've now drawn the line in the sand, and a solid majority of voting-age Americans are asking, "If you [congress] can't be counted-on to handle little things, how can we count on you to handle one-sixth of the entire economy?"
Democratic leadership has invested heavily in the Blue Dogs' election as a route to power, so much so that now they are depending on the Blue Dogs to ram through health care reform, and the American people aren't buying it. So what do the Blue Dogs do? If they follow the wishes of their consituency, they run the risk of being cut off from their party's support system and they face the prospect of nationally-engineered protracted primary battles with opponents hand-picked by the current administration. On the other hand, if they buck the anger at home to kowtow to their party's leadership, no amount of money and advertising will save them if the people refuse to vote for them (such as happened to Tom Daschle in 2004).
This strikes me as a no-brainer, but perhaps that's because I'm not an elected official. My eyes haven't been glazed over by the wonders and perquisites of Capitol Hill. That's why I believe that any Blue Dog with an ounce of common sense will listen to the people first. Without the party's support, your chances of winning are lessened. Without the voters' support, your chances of winning are nonexistent.
You have to hand it to Barack Obama, anyway. He is certainly a man of principle (which I am diametrically opposed to), and in sticking to his guns along with congressional leadership, he may be able to do what Bill Clinton couldn't: destroy the Democratic Party as a viable political entity. I wouldn't want to be a Blue Dog right now.